September 2017

As September starts, Jupiter is in Virgo in the west at Sunset and will stay close to the bright star Spica all month. Saturn is in the south in Ophiuchus. A waxing gibbous moon is a little east of there in Sagittarius. Pegasus is rising. In the morning sky, Gemini and Orion are prominent. Venus […]

August 2017

Total solar eclipse   The big event this month is the total solar eclipse. The path of totality runs from the northern Pacific Ocean, across the continental United States, and to the northern Atlantic Ocean. Partial phases are visible from just about all of North America and South America.   The last time a central […]

July 2017

Mercury and Mars are sunset objects for northern hemisphere observers at the start of July. Mercury gets a little easier to see but stays typically close to the horizon all month. Watch for it to pass the star Regulus around the 25th as the constellation Leo lowers in the sky evening after evening. Conveniently, a very […]

June 2017

Mars is in the west just after sunset at the start of June. Find it below Gemini. A thickening crescent moon is approaching Leo. Jupiter is in Virgo on the meridian as darkness sets in while Arcturus is high in the east.. Saturn rises not long after sunset. You’ll find the ringed planet in the […]

May 2017

At the start of May, Orion is setting not long after the sun. Taurus is right of it with red Mars right of the Hyades V rivaling orange Aldebaran. Leo is on the meridian. Jupiter is in Virgo heading toward Porrima near the meridian. Arcturus and Boötes are high in the east.   Night to […]

April 2017

Mercury and Mars are easily seen in the west just after sunset as April starts. Mercury is at its greatest elongation, this time 19° east of the sun on the 1st. Mars is a little above it. You’d better catch the messenger planet while you can though. It’s heading toward inferior conjunction on the 20th. […]

March 2017

In March, Leo rises as darkness sets in. Gemini is a little higher in the east and Orion higher still. Pisces is setting, and you’ll find Mars and Venus alongside the eastern fish at the start of the month. Look for Mars to pass right of a star called Torcularis Septentrionalis and left of another […]

February 2017

Mars and Venus are the planets that rule the evening this month. They’re in the west or southwest at sunset. They keep a steady distance from each other as they move along the western fish of Pisces during the first ten days or so of this month. By the second half of February, Mars and […]

January 2017

If you haven’t seen Neptune or you may have but aren’t sure, your best chance to positively identify it is on New Year’s Eve. Mars is next to it in the evening to the west. The rocky red planet is easy to identify with the naked eye. Point a telescope or binoculars at it to […]

December 2016

For northern hemisphere observers, the sun sets at its earliest times in December. Saturn is not far above the horizon in the southwest as darkness sets in at December 2016’s start. Left of it is Mercury. Above them both is a thin crescent moon. In just a couple of nights, the thicker crescent will be […]